Just moments after Apple unveiled the new Apple Watch Ultra during the Far Our event on September 6th, I couldn’t help but think of one Ultra iPhone. And then, just a few days after that The iPhone 14 series was announced, popular tipster Mark Gurman came out Information about a rumored iPhone 15 Ultra… The truth is, even leaving all educated guesswork aside, it’s clear to see that Apple has been flirting with Ultra branding for a while now. Next to the Apple Watch Ultra, there is also a processor made by Apple called M1 Ultra that powers the most powerful MacBook Pro currently available. So, the clues are there…
- Apple M1 Ultra – the most powerful Apple chip ever
- The Apple Watch Ultra is the most powerful Apple Watch ever
- And now leaks and rumors are pointing to a big super premium iPhone sporting the Ultra branding
But what will this “Ultra” iPhone look like? Will it be a foldable or a rugged device like the Apple Watch Ultra? Maybe just a rebranded iPhone 15 Pro Max, or a different phone altogether? While it’s far too early to tell or believe any rumors, let’s take a look at the most likely options at this point!
Oh, and yes, after numerous reports of old Samsung phones exploding, the South Korean company now has one more thing to worry about – Apple’s new and intimidating rival, the Galaxy S23 Ultra!
What will the iPhone 15 Ultra look like – a foldable, rugged, rebranded iPhone 15 Pro Max or a separate model?
No foldable iPhone yet.
Right off the bat, it’s pretty safe to rule out that the iPhone 15 Ultra will be a foldable phone.
Sure, Apple was expected to make one foldable iPhone been around for a while, but despite the increasing popularity of foldables, this is still a very immature product category that Apple wouldn’t be happy to adopt it unless the company has something really special and reliable to show for it. In fact, many believe that Apple will never make a foldable iPhone.
Then when it comes to a robust iPhone 15 Ultra, amazing as that may sound to adventurers and clumsy peeps, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will make an unbreakable iPhone that the company can’t then charge you hundreds of dollars to repair.
Anyway, the only two options left to us are:
- A rebranded iPhone 15 Pro Max becoming the iPhone 15 Ultra
- A super premium iPhone 15 Ultra with more features that is quite different from the iPhone 15 Pro
My educated guess, based on years of watching the industry, is that Apple won’t be the company to just change a device’s name to make it sell better. Because if that were the case, Apple would have changed the name of the iPhone 13 mini too iPhone 13 after The iPhone 12 mini flopped commercially. Also the The iPhone 14 Plus would have been called iPhone 14 Max as people would associate “Max” with something better.
A more durable, long-lasting iPhone 15 Ultra with periscope zoom camera (and USB-C?) on the way?
Ultra Camera, Ultra Battery, Ultra Build… or Ultra C?
And so the only logical explanation for a supposed iPhone 15 Ultra is that this will be a completely different beast of a phone than the iPhone 15 Pro.
According to supply chain analyst and leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is already planning to differentiate the iPhone 15 Pro Max from the iPhone 15 Pro (Mind you, at this point Kuo didn’t refer to the iPhone 15 Pro Max as the iPhone 15 Ultra).
What’s interesting is that Apple has been indecisive in distinguishing iPhone models:
- iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were essentially the same phone, except one was larger and had a larger battery
- iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max were also identical except for size and battery
- The iPhone 12 Pro Max had a larger primary camera sensor and a longer-range zoom camera than the iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are identical in terms of specs
- iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are also identical
After all the rumors and leaks we’ve seen about the iPhone 15 series, it’s now expected that at least one of Apple’s iPhone 15 models will come with a periscope zoom camera and a refreshed design, and it is at this point it seems so much more likely that it will be the supposed iPhone 15 Ultra.
The two issues I have with Apple’s current design are that the phones are getting bigger and heavier, and that the current back of the iPhone looks aesthetically dated next to phones like this Pixel 6 Pro and Xiaomi 12S Ultra (the design of the back of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is not really my thing).
As such, I’m currently assuming a titanium frame for the iPhone 15 Ultra, which will help address the weight issue while also giving Apple more leeway when it comes to adding more and larger components like a periscope zoom lens and even a larger battery fit the Ultra name.
When it comes to the actual looks of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra, I expect both will get a redesigned back since all iPhone 15 models are now expected to feature the new dynamic island huh means all iPhone 15 models should look identical on the front. A new rear view would be Apple’s only way to show people that “these are the new iPhones.”
iPhone 15 Ultra is coming for the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Pixel 8 Pro: Do Samsung, Google & Co have anything to fear?
Attention Samsung! Google is safe.
To recap, it looks like Apple is preparing to enter the super-premium flagship race with its own iPhone 15 Ultra, which comes with an all-new, more durable design, a periscope zoom lens, longer battery life and could even be equipped with USB-C (which I still can’t believe). A supposed iPhone 15 Ultra would face the competition Galaxy S23 Ultra (which is shaping up to be a very similar phone to the Galaxy S22 Ultra), the Pixel 8 Pro (which we know nothing about) and the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, which is shaping itself to be the dark horse in the 2023 ultra-premium flagship race after being confirmed by Xiaomi’s CEO said, that the phone would be released worldwide and would bring a 1-inch camera sensor.
So does Android have anything to worry about?
The only good news for Android is that given that Apple hasn’t changed the price of the iPhone 14 range in the US, it’s now very likely that the iPhone 15 Ultra will be more expensive. Also, iPhone prices around the world are at an all-time high, with some regions of the world seeing price increases of 15% to 25%, such as the UK, Germany and Poland.